Ohio Man Helped by John Malkovich 'Thankful' for Actor's Kindness

Actor John Malkovich helped save a man's life in Toronto.

ByABC News
June 9, 2013, 2:01 PM

June 9, 2013— -- Actor John Malkovich came to the rescue of an Ohio man who fell into a Toronto street and cut his neck on a scaffolding pole outside of his hotel, the man told ABC News today.

Jim Walpole and his wife Marilyn, of Defiance, Ohio, were visiting Toronto on the last leg of their cross-Canada train trip when Walpole stubbed his toe and fell into the street on their way back from dinner at P.J. O'Brien's on Thursday evening.

Walpole, 77, told ABC News that he was unable to catch himself once he tripped outside the King Edward Hotel, where he and his wife were staying in downtown Toronto.

"My neck hit the scaffolding pole and there was a sharp thing sticking out on the bottom," he said. "My neck hit the thing that sticks out and tore it. I was really bleeding."

While Walpole's wife is a trained nurse, she was so shaken by what had transpired that she "forgot all her nursing stuff," he said.

"It just totally terrified me," Marilyn Walpole told ABC News.

"But two gentleman, I don't know where they came from, came to my aid," Walpole said. "They knew exactly what to do."

Walpole said the two men put pressure on his neck gash with a towel until the paramedics arrived, and helped to keep his wife calm.

Walpole said he asked the two men their names as they helped tend to his wound. Malkovich told him his name was John, he said. The other man told him his name was Ben.

He later found out he had been rescued by actor John Malkovich and Ben Quinn, the restaurateur who owns P.J. O'Brien's, among other establishments in the city.

Once an ambulance arrived, Walpole was taken to the emergency room at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto and was treated right away. He said he broke his left ring finger and received 10 stitches in his neck from the fall.

"The emergency room doctor said if [the cut] had been another eighth of an inch, I would have been in real trouble," he said. "It would have gotten into a main artery."

Walpole said his coat and his shirt were soaked with blood, and he was amazed that two strangers leaped to his rescue in what could have been a life-threatening injury.

"I have nothing but praise for those two gentlemen," he said. "I'm just so thankful for all the help they gave me."

Walpole said he didn't recognize Malkovich as he tended to his wound. When he later learned who helped him, he only remembered the actor, who is in Toronto starring in the play "The Giacomo Variations," from his role in "Secretariat."

"Believe me, I'm going to be watching all of [his films] now," he said.

Walpole said he spent Friday recovering in the hospital, and he and his wife had to miss their tour group's scheduled trip to Niagara Falls.

But Walpole was glad he got a chance to thank at least one of his saviors personally. He said that Quinn paid him a visit at his hotel before his flight back to Ohio Saturday morning.

As for John Malkovich, the Walpoles never saw him again. But Marilyn Walpole said Malkovich contacted their tour leader to ask how her husband was doing. He also wrote a personal letter to Walpole, she said.

Marilyn Walpole was surprised to learn it was a famous actor who stepped in to save her husband.

"He was so in control and knew exactly what to do," she said. "I thought he was a doctor."

While the couple is glad to be back at home in Ohio, they both are appreciative to bear witness to the kindness of strangers.

"How many people would stop and help somebody?" Marilyn Walpole said. "I don't know where they came from. I just know [Malkovich and Quinn] were two angels."